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Effects of The 2020 Covid Quarantine On Machine Design Course Performance
While there are few good things to say about 2020 COVID-19 Quarantine, student interest and performance improvements were observed in my Machine Design course. The grade levels and distribution of my Spring 2020 course were not notably different from previous years before the 2020 COVID Quarantine. Based on grade averages, the students were performing near or below the usual course norms. However, after the mid-March 2020 campus closing and transitioning to an all online/virtual format student performance improved. The Machine Design course begins with 3-dimensional stress states/static and fatigue failure theories then follows with applications of these theories to the design and selection of components. Component design usually begins with shafts, followed by gears, flexible drives, fasteners, bearings, etc. Two projects were used to drive home the concepts of the classroom. A large portion of this course grade was project-based learning that commenced about midway through the semester near the time of the switch to virtual coursework. Discussion of the projects, faculty interaction, and student performance highlight the changes in after beginning the quarantine and all online coursework. Several observations and hypotheses are drawn. Changes in future course offerings as a result are discussed.